Prolific Marvel writers Brian Michael Bendis and Matt Fraction recall the re-writing of the origins of the Marvel stars: Many heroes were originally born out of cold-war nuclear paranoia: radiation and sub-atomic tinkering created Spiderman, The Hulk, Goliath, Iron Man, and The Wasp, among others. But now, in their subtle retellings at the turn of the 21st century, the spider that created Spiderman's powers shifted to a genetically engineered one; Iron Man becomes more nanotechnology than iron; Goliath's abilities strayed from sub-atomic manipulation towards advanced robotics and artificial intelligence; and Captain America's genetic engineering came to the forefront of his soldiering prowess.
In the same way, Dark Reign, issued in December 2008, looks forward to a dark future in the Marvel Universe. In this Big Brother dystopia tempered by fear of "invisible" technologies like nanotechnology, the citizenry trade their freedom and privacy for protection. The change in hegemony occurs through a sly shift from the high-tech state-of-the-art technology of Iron Man to the shadowy explosives and bombardiering of a former villain-turned-savior, Norman Osborn -- also known as the Green Goblin. As the author of Dark Reign, Bendis says this reflects real-world situations where simple, nefarious explosives can undermine the prowess of expensive and flashy technology.
The climax of this clash of technologies and ideals has yet to come, but be certain that author Bendis feels obligated to look forward and comment on trends -- especially science and technology -- that affect the world as we know it in true science-fiction manner. With an extreme aversion to "gobbledygook science," Bendis' comic manifestations of science and technology start in the newest headlines from the scientific community, except when the superheroes are aliens, fantastic mutants, or demi-gods, obviously.